A new milestone- gold, silver and bronze all in the one race!

Athletics Ireland National Juvenile “B” Cross Country Championship

Sunday 24 January 2016 at Dundalk IT

It was an early start for 14 juvenile athletes from Longford AC last Sunday as they headed north to Dundalk IT for the final cross country race of the season. It was well worth the journey for the outstanding performances put in by the entire group.

Two of the newest juvenile members of the Club have achieved a new milestone winning a complete set of Athletics Ireland gold, silver and bronze medals each, all in the one race. Joe Reilly, Moyne, and Aidan O’Boyle, Tarmonbarry, shot off the starting line of 73 runners and held the blistering pace throughout the 1500m race to finish in 6th and 9th places. This brought them straight to the podium to win bronze individual medals. There was an anxious wait as all the results were tallied and then the cheer from the Longford supporters lifted the roof when the U13 Boys team won 1st place as well as 2nd place in the County team category.

Every runner sets out to do their personal best in a race but cross country has the added feature of teams which means that the place of every finisher across the line counts. This point is always stressed and will be forever remembered by the boys after this race. When the results were posted, Longford (6,9,25 & 34) and Greystones (3,14,20 & 37) were tied at 74 points each, meaning that the lowest score of the 4th runner would determine the winner. The very strong lead by Joe and Aidan, combined with solid performances from Christopher Conaty, Brendan Finnan, Cathal Farrell, Daniel Hayden and Dan Crossan was the right chemistry on the day for this outstanding achievement.

Kate Hagan, Newtownforbes, finished a very impressive 15th place running up an age group in the U13 Girls’ race.  By the 500m mark Kate had worked her way to the front of the pack and held her ground staying with the race leaders throughout the final 1000m loop narrowly missing the medal placings. As she is underage Kate can look forward to competing in this same race again next year.

The U11 Girls’ team continues to improve as they gain experience running the 800-1500m distances in each race. In 2015 they took part in every level of competition- primary school, club, provincial and national cross country.  Laura Farrell, Siog Reilly, Rachel Mulligan, Anna Hayden, Caoimhe Crossan and Tara Crossan all did themselves proud in the race of 113 girls.

The commitment from parents and coaches to bring athletes to competitions spread out all across the country in Leitrim, Roscommon, Waterford and Louth has given them substantial experience on every type of course. The final race of the cross country season saw the juvenile section of the Longford Athletics Club achieve wonderful individual, team and county success. This leads the Club straight into preparations for the upcoming Indoor Track and Field season with the Connacht Championships in mid February.

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Longford AC U13 Boys team that won 2 sets of All-Ireland medals at the National “B” Cross Country Championship in Dundalk IT. Gold for 1st place as Club team, and Silver in the County category. Aidan O’Boyle, Daniel Hayden, Cathal Farrell, Joe Reilly, Christopher Conaty, Dan Crossan & Brendan Finnan.

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Athletics Ireland Gold and Silver medals won by the Longford AC U13 Boys team after their outstanding performance at the National “B” Cross Country Championship in Dundalk IT on Jan 24, 2016. The Boys won 1st place as Club team and 2nd place in County category. Two of the Club’s newest members, Joe Reilly and Aidan O’Boyle, also won Bronze medals as individuals finishing in the top 10 of the race.

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Longford AC juvenile girls taking part in U11 and U13 races at the National “B” Cross Country Championship in Dundalk IT on Jan 24, 2016. Rachel Mulligan, Siog Reilly, Caoimhe Crossan, Laura Farrell, Tara Crossan, Anna Hayden & Kate Hagan looking very clean before the start of the race.